Posts by tag: Grey Market

Suzuki September 26, 2017 posted by

JDM Gixxer: 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 Limited Edition

Honda's famed RC30 was basically designed from the ground up for competition, and seemingly only sold to the public to satisfy production-based racing requirements. That's one way to go about it, but if you don't have Honda's practically endless resources, how do you create a machine that will help your racers to compete at the top levels of production-based racing? You build something like this Suzuki GSX-R750 Limited Edition. In recent years, "Limited Edition" has come to refer to things like luxury trim packages for Toyota Corollas, somewhat watering down the cachet of the term. But in this case, it was truth in advertising, with just a few hundred made to satisfy the regulations.

The regular GSX-R was already a pretty impressive machine and, considering that the Limited Edition was the most expensive Japanese sportbike of 1986, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the performance of this rare and exotic version is underwhelming. But the changes were designed to allow their inclusion on race machines, not make for a better roadbike. The LE was just six pounds lighter than the standard bike, most likely a result of the fiberglass solo-seat tail section. Power was very similar as well, since the engine internals were virtually identical to the stock GSX-R750, and flat-slide carburetors are great for producing maximum power, but they're not really suited to everyday use. Fortunately, the LE's lightweight vented dry clutch should produce enough rattle to drown out the supposedly noisy carburetor slides... Aside from those notable and very expensive upgrades, the bike also featured a revised swingarm for improved stability and the electronic, anti-dive forks from the GSX-R1100, although I wonder if many race teams actually used those. Photos of our recent GSX-R AMA Superbike suggest that at least some of them did...

So out of the box it didn't necessarily perform any better than a stock bike, and was hideously expensive. But honestly, most manufacturers of homologation specials probably weren't too concerned about selling them: I'm pretty sure the rules only required that they build the required machines, so if they sat in showrooms for a few years, manufacturers wouldn't lose any sleep over it. Collectors and enthusiasts with the money to buy them still did so, regardless of cost, but the main goal was to get the right parts legalized for the racers.

From the original Craigslist Post: 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 Limited Edition for Sale

1986 GSXR-750 Limited Edition in Japanese Domestic Model Specification
Suzuki only produced 500 units world wide of the GSXR750 Limited Edition

The bike is imported from Japan.
Not registered yet in the U.S.
This bike is sold without title. (NO TITLE)

Start engine! Runs well
Flat slide carburetors
Dry clutch
Original FRP rear seat cowl

24,374 km (15,145 miles)
Engine Number R705-125561

$13,800

The last Limited Edition GSX-R750 we featured on the site was also a Japanese import in similar colors that were intended to celebrate Suzuki's success at the 8 Hours of Suzuka, but this appears to be a different bike entirely. First-generation "Slabbie" Gixxers are already increasing in value, and nice Limited Editions are starting to command premium dollars. The lack of a title could prove to be a hassle, but many people considering a purchase will be looking to collect or display, not actually ride it, so that may not be all that much a problem. The $13,800 asking price seems in line with recent LE prices, but I wonder if the lack of title will have any impact on its value.

-tad

Yamaha September 12, 2017 posted by

A Little Fizzy: 1993 Yamaha FZR250R for Sale

While most small-displacement bikes these days are relatively simple, economical singles and twins, the Yamaha FZR250R spec sheet reads like a much bigger machine: aluminum beam frame, four cylinders, four valves per cylinder, dual 0verhead cams, an EXUP exhaust valve, and a six-speed gearbox. That adds up to a claimed 45hp and 18 ft-lbs of torque that could push the 310lb dry machine to a top speed of 110mph.

Unlike modern sportbikes with their flexible powerbands, the littlest FZR absolutely required you to chase that screaming 18,500rpm redline to make any sort of progress at all: the technical specs meant Yamaha could eke out every bit of performance possible from the diminutive displacement, but there's only so much that four cylinders and four valves can do with 249cc. So while that redline may be fun for a while, the downside is that you're revving the nuts off of it everywhere, all the time, and 10,500rpm at 70mph in sixth gear makes for some frantic freeway miles.

The FZR250R is a good-looking machine for sure, pink and white graphics notwithstanding but, aside from the novelty and that previously-mentioned shrieking redline, the question here really is: what's the point? The little FZR is nearly unheard of here in the USA: it was officially sold only in its home market of Japan, although many countries have a thriving grey market so they did find their way elsewhere when new to places with heavy taxes on displacements or tiered licensing systems.

Mostly though, they didn't: small-displacement sportbike junkies typically gravitated towards two-strokes like Yamaha's own TZR that were cheaper to buy and run, with similar weight and claimed power but a less-frantic powerband. It was much easier to extract additional performance from two-strokes as well, since the FZR was already pushing the envelope in terms of four-stroke tuning. Ultimately, the FZR requires big-bike maintenance with almost none of the payoff.

From the original eBay listing: 1993 Yamaha FZR250R for Sale

Up for auction to the highest bidder with NO RESERVE is a 1993 Yamaha FZR250R with only 25,499 kilometers (15,844 miles). The BEST thing about these little inline four cylinders is the 18,500 redline. These bikes love to be revved to the moon! This baby Fizzer looks good and has great curb appeal. There are several scratches and tiny chips in the bodywork from it's ride thru life but overall very clean. No dents in the tank and only two tiny cracks in the upper fairing on the left side around the front blinker and the mirror...... Small tear in the passenger seat and some corrosion that will clean up easily. This bike would make at candidate for restoration. Comes with a aftermarket muffler and clear blinkers. Everything else stock. Fairings are 100% genuine Yamaha. Bike runs flawless. New battery and fluids. Fun little bike to ride in the tight turns. Bike comes with Utah state title and is titled as a street bike for road use.

Bidding is up to just over $1,500 with very little time left on the auction. It's not in perfect condition, with some corrosion and scuffs and those non-standard grips and bar-ends, but is complete and the fairings are claimed to be original and it does have a US title. Obviously, pure performance junkies need not apply: power is very limited for wide-open American roads and, even though the handling is good, you're still looking at pretty basic, non-adjustable suspension bits on the FZR250R. But with light weight, you should be able to throw it around with abandon, and wringing that tiny inline-four's neck should provide hours of entertainment. Absolutely hammering a bike in all six gears with few legal consequences could make this a pretty fun toy for backroad riding, especially if you're not a fan of the noise and headache associated with two-strokes. Just make sure you live close to those backroads...

-tad

A Little Fizzy: 1993 Yamaha FZR250R for Sale
Bimota September 9, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1986 Bimota SB5 for Sale

Sept 9 Update: Due to some issues with eBay UK, the seller has relisted this amazing SB5. Links updated. -MI

The fifth Bimota powered by Suzuki engine, the SB5 was a development of their successful SB4, which is no bad thing: both bikes followed Bimota's formula of wrapping a solid, Japanese engine in a race-bred trellis frame and lightweight, swoopy bodywork. The style of the SB5 is very 80s sportbike, with a huge fairing and windscreen that should make trips to the 160mph top speed relatively comfortable. As with many Bimotas, the devil is in the details: notice how few fasteners hold that one-piece tank-and seat section to the bright red frame? And what's that there, hiding under the tail section? A passenger seat?! Yes, the SB5 was basically an SB4 with a longer wheelbase and passenger accommodation added in the form of a hidden seat and pegs that tuck away into recesses in the bodywork.

Most of the 158 SB5s made were fitted with the 1135cc inline four from the GSX-1100, but this ultra-rare example is apparently fitted with the similar, but slightly smaller unit from the Katana 1100 that displaces 1074cc. It lacks liquid cooling, but the engine was otherwise fairly sophisticated and incorporated dual-overhead cams and four valves per cylinder, along with Suzuki's TSCC or "Twin Swirl Combustion Chamber" that promoted faster and more efficient combustion, all fed by a quartet of Mikuni carbs and backed by a five-speed gearbox. Claimed horsepower for the standard SB5 was 119hp with 77lb-ft of torque. The Katana engine installed here doesn't seem to offer any performance advantages compared to the one from the GSX, but does add to the bike's rarity.

As was the style for high-performance sportbikes for a very short period at the time in the 80s, 16" wheels were fitted at both ends of the SB5 for nimble, if sometimes unstable handling. Bimotas may be famous for their light weight, but that's relative in this case: the GSX was definitely heavier, but the SB5 clocks in at a solid 513lbs full of fuel and lubricants. The bike featured triple Brembo brakes and quality suspension at both ends. Period reviews naturally praised the bike's handling and straight-line performance, although the SB5's high cost made it more dream bike than something a normal rider might seriously consider.

From the Seller: 1986 Bimota SB5 for Sale

1 of 5 factory build SB5 with the 1074cc engine

This 1986 Bimota SB5 is one of a handfull of bikes left from our collection which we have been dissolving this past year due to continued health related reasons which in turn require us to consolidate all our personal items and to scale back from multiple locations to just one.

This is not a 'normal' motorcycle in 'average' condition so the text describing it and this sale's particulars might be somewhat different than what one would normally see written in a listing here on Ebay. If you dont care for long descriptions, please feel free to just skip to the photo album link here below and enjoy the images. If those images raised your interest level i am sure you will take the time to read the remainder of our description as posted below.

There are really no guidelines as to what the value of this fairly rare Bimota SB5 in this exceptional, low mileage condition might be worth in the current international market place, so all we expect is a reasonable and fair offer that both, we as the seller and you as the buyer can be satisfied with and the motorcycle will be sold.

Details:

One of the last 10 Bimota SB5 build in the factory in Rimini in 1986, one of only 5 known to be delivered with the 1074cc Katana engine, due to homologation issues surrounding the later 1135cc engine in all other SB5 models in some marketplaces. Total production run of the SB5 was 158 units, 5 of which were these special 1074cc versions. This makes this one of the rarest factory Bimotas build in the 80-ies and fairly collectible

We bought it because we liked the look and have always favored Suzuki's 1074cc power plant. At the time we had the choice of buying the SB3 or this SB5 and we decided in favor of the SB5 because of the newly designed frame which incorporates an aluminum CNC machined centerpiece and because with only 158 bikes build and this being one of five special ones it seemed much more collectible than the SB3 which was build in over 400 units and didn't allow for a passenger to enjoy the great road handling as well.

As an added bonus this SB5 is in superb condition, with very low original mileage, all original with the correct Bimota wheels, Bimota stand, correct Magneti Marrelli mirrors (never installed) and small round black-body turnsignals with black aluminum stalks and the correct black chrome exhaust system

Having only been ridden some 14-thousand kilometers ( 8000 miles) from new it runs as good as it looks.

I do not think there is a need to go into extreme detail on every component on this motorcycle, the images in the photo album say more about what level of condition this motorcycle is in than words could ever do

As mentioned before, we have prepared such an online photo album showing this motorcycle in detail in more than 50 high quality images that might be of interest to a serious collector.

So it may have been an out-of-reach luxury machine when it was new, but what will it cost to put a Bimota SB5 in your garage today? This extremely nice example is listed on eBay's UK site with a price of £14,500, the equivalent of about $18,800, and is currently located in Germany. All-in-all a very exotic, very collectible motorcycle that could form the centerpiece of your Italian motorcycle collection or a very cool roadbike.

-tad

Yamaha August 29, 2017 posted by

Rare Beast: 2006 Yamaha MT-01 for Sale

Most of the time, I try to walk the straight and narrow with my posts, sticking to highly-strung, fully-faired speed demons and racetrack refugees. But sometimes my obsession with the weird and rare gets the better of me and I just have to post stuff like this Yamaha MT-01, even if it's coloring outside the lines a bit from a strict “sportbike” point of view. The MT-01 is really much more a muscle bike in the vein of a Ducati Monster or Suzuki BKing than an out-and-out sportbike, but there’s much more going on here once you scratch the surface.

The drivetrain specifications definitely don’t scream “sportbike”: the air-cooled, four-valve per cylinder engine had twin spark plugs for optimal combustion across the face of the huge pistons and was originally found in Yamaha/Road Star Warrior, although in this installation, it featured a lightened flywheel and the first v-twin application of Yamaha’s EXUP valve. The long-stroke unit’s 97mm x 113mm gave 1670cc, good for 89hp and 112 lb-ft of torque, enough to hustle the 540lbs dry hunk of metal along pretty smartly, with minimal need to work the five-speed box. I've never actually heard one run, but reviews all praise the thudding, Harley-esque exhaust note.

If that’s not particularly inspiring to you canyon-carvers, note that the rest of the bike is more Mr Hyde to the drivetrain's Dr Jekyl: that huge lump of an engine was a fully-stressed member and the fully-adjustable upside-down forks and radial front brakes came right off the 2004-2005 R1. The MT-01 had 17” wheels at both ends so you can fit the very stickiest modern rubber and, if that’s not enough to clarify the bike's sporting intent, the 2009 version was available with full Öhlins suspension and Pirelli Diablo Rosso tires straight from the factory.

There's a school of thought that suggests fast road riding is best accomplished by not having to worry about shifting too much. That constant gear-lever-dancing, while fun, isn't as fast as simply surfing a wave of torque in one gear, especially on unfamiliar roads. On track, I'm sure it'd get murdered by a good 600cc supersport. On a winding back road? I bet that same 600 would have a hard time shaking this thing, and period reviews of the bike were very positive.

From the original eBay listing: 2006 Yamaha MT-01 for Sale

This torque monster is basically new. There are less than 400 km on this unit. The motorcycle was on the showroom floor and was never stored outdoors. The bike has no wear on its tires and the little nubs on the tires from manufacturing are still there. No accessories added or changed. The color is silver with blue accents. Very limited production on these bikes. 2006 was the first year of production. There is one imperfection or mark from the bike being moved in the showroom. This mark is in the pictures and is cosmetic. The reason I still have this awesome bike is just that. I was going to keep it but just don't have time to ride it. I owned the Yamaha dealership and kept this one for myself.

The MT-01 is an unusual machine, and that's a big part of the appeal.  Build-quality was very high, as the bike was a flagship model for Yamaha, although they haven’t really retained their value in their original markets, as the bike never really seemed to find the right audience. What’s one worth here in the USA? Good question, but this one appears to be in nearly perfect condition, and the seller is asking $12,000. If you could find a way to register it here [the bike is for sale in Canada] it'd make quite a conversation starter at your local bike hang out.

-tad

Rare Beast: 2006 Yamaha MT-01 for Sale
Aprilia August 20, 2017 posted by

Thrilla From Aprilia: 1997 Aprilia RS250 for Sale

Aprilia was late to the quarter-liter two-stroke party when they introduced their RS250 in 1995, but the bike stayed in production long after the NSR, TZR, and the RGV that donated its powerplant had gone the way of the dodo, with road bikes available until 2002 and "for off road use only examples" several years after that. There were two generations of the bike, with a restyle partway through the bike's production run in 1998. This particular example features the earlier bodywork and dash, which I personally very much prefer to the later, more "modern" style.

The bike used a very lightly modified version of Suzuki's RGV250 engine, so specifications are basically identical, although buyers don't have to worry about Japanese market horsepower restrictions, and should have somewhere in the neighborhood of 55hp, although more is possible at the cost of longevity... The bike also used Suzuki's six-speed transmission, although Aprilia used their own aluminum beam frame and banana swingarm that are much more sculptural than Suzuki's more industrial-looking components. Triple Brembo discs are almost overkill: they're the same kit found on bikes like Ducati's 916 and Moto Guzzi Sport 1100 that weighed significantly more than the little Aprilia's 300lbs...

Period reviews praise the bike's light weight and handling, although it was, like all the other 250s, pretty bare-bones and high-strung. Later bikes had a very trick-looking dash, but these earlier machines have the gauges clearly divided into the required tachometer and a speedo/idiot light cluster that could easily be removed when prepping the bike for race duty...

From the original eBay listing: 1997 Aprilia RS250 for Sale

Absolutely stunning RS250 in superb condition.  Frame is immaculate, bodywork in excellent condition with minor scratches and scuff marks.  Comes with two un-installed Michelin pilot tires. All consumables in super good condition (brakes, chain, sprockets).  12400 original kms, starts on the first kick hot or cold.  New plugs, clean air filter, oil changed, power valves degreased.  Ready to go!  For this week and this week ONLY, free crating, free shipping to continental North America, no paypal fees, export fees on me!  Serious inquiries only please, no low balls, no time wasters.

The Buy It Now price for this very nice RS250 is listed as $8,300 although I'm not sure if that's US or Canadian dollars, making this either a good deal or a great deal, considering the apparent condition. Obviously you'll have to handle importation issues, and registration could be tricky depending on where you live. Maybe just park it in your living room until it's 25 years old?

-tad

Thrilla From Aprilia: 1997 Aprilia RS250 for Sale
Ducati August 19, 2017 posted by

Rare Duck: 1986 Ducati 400 F3 for Sale

The stories of our favorite motorcycle manufacturers are often littered with failures and bankruptcy. Some brands even saw multiple deaths, followed by zombie-like resurrections where the victim simply came back wrong, like Gage from Pet Sematary… Truly, “Sometimes dead is better…” Luckily, Italian purveyor of accessible exotics Ducati seems pretty stable these days, rumored purchase by Harley Davidson notwithstanding. But it wasn’t always that way, and today’s Ducati 400 F3 represents a rare collectible from a transitional era of their history when they teetered on the edge of failure.

Designed before Ducati was taken over by Cagiva but produced during their ownership, it was styled to resemble the successful TT race bikes of the late 70s and early 80s. The 750 F1 and lookalike F3 used Ducati’s signature trellis frame developed by Verlicchi and wrapped around the company’s two-valve, air and oil-cooled Pantah engine. In this application the v-twin had yet to have the rear cylinder rotated 180° to situate both carburetors together in the engine’s vee as seen in the later SS and Monsters, so you can see the rear velocity stack/filter sticking out in the breeze, where it probably interferes with the rider’s leg but hey, it’s a Ducati!

And that was really the problem with the F1/F3 to begin with: build quality was generally pretty poor, more kit-bike than the product of a major motorcycle manufacturer, and the suspension was crude. But the elements were there to make a great bike, it just needed a bit of development… It was almost as if Ducati assumed buyers intended to race them, and didn’t bother finishing them. Today's F3 was a Japanese market version of the F1 with a smaller, 400cc displacement. The seller suggests that it may be the only example in the USA and certainly, I can't remember seeing one for sale here. It's had a cosmetic restoration, but is otherwise in original condition.

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Ducati 400 F3 for Sale

VERY RARE and might be the only one of these models in the USA.

Japan was one of the biggest markets for Ducati in the 1980s but limited motorcycles to only 400 cc, so smaller versions of the Ducati 750F1 were sold there as the Ducati 400F3 from 1986-88. This 1986 Ducati 400F3 with only 7657 km (4758 miles) was imported from Japan in 2016. 

The paint on the bike was badly faded and the complete bike was torn down and frame and complete bodywork were repainted (powder coating on the frame).  All decals are factory correct decals for this year model.

A Limited run of 509 Ducati 400 F3 bikes were built in 1986 and this bike is number 209 (VIN ZDM400R*400209) and is shown on a numbered factory plaque fitted to the top of the seat fairing, see picture.

The bike is in very good running condition and include:

  • New paint
  • New decals
  • Powder coated frame and swingarm
  • New battery
  • New chain
  • New steering bearings
  • New petcocks
  • Engine serviced (Oil, Oil filter, Timing belts)
  • Engine is 100% factory stock

This vehicle is being offered as-is with no warranty expressed or implied. Please call for specific details on this vehicle.

PLEASE NOTE! THIS MOTORCYCLE IS SOLD WITH A "BILL OF SALE" ONLY AND DOES NOT HAVE A TITLE.  EBAY DOES NOT HAVE THE OPTION TO LIST THIS IN THE ITEM SPECIFIC SECTION! CONTACT ME FOR MORE INFORMATION IF NEEDED.

Obviously, a two-valve, 400cc v-twin isn't going to be particularly fast, but I doubt anyone considering a purchase will seriously care. This is a bit of history, a collectible. The lookalike 750 F1 has experienced a serious spike in value the past few years. Although the smaller-engined F3 won't offer the same performance, it should represent a solid investment as it is very rare, especially here in the USA, although bidding is very low so far, at just over $4,0000 with the Reserve Not Met.

-tad